Franklin was convicted in 1997 of murdering Gerald Gordon
-- twenty years after he shot and killed him in the parking lot of a St. Louis area synagogue. Franklin also was convicted of shooting two other men in the same synagogue parking lot following a bar mitzvah in 1977.
"Joseph Franklin planned out and committed a heinous crime that was borne of pure hatred, and it is time for him to face his punishment," Koster said.
Franklin also has been convicted for the murder of two African-Americans
in Utah, the murder of an interracial couple in Wisconsin
, and the bombing of a synagogue
in Tennessee. Franklin also has claimed responsibility for the shooting of Larry Flynt
, publisher of Hustler magazine.
Koster said Franklin carefully planned the Missouri murder, scouting synagogues before selecting one in Richmond Heights that had bushes nearby where he could hide and fire. Franklin confessed to that 1977 murder in 1994, while serving six consecutive life sentences at the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois.
"Anti-Semitism and racism were at the heart of Franklin's crimes," Koster said. "His kind of hatred can not be tolerated by society. It is time for justice to be served."
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster today called for the Missouri Supreme Court to set an execution date for